SSD upgrade can take your gaming to the next level

The advantages solid state drives hold over traditional hard disk drives are well known. While they might be on the pricey side, whether you are a gamer or someone just trying to maximize your computer's performance level, you should consider investing in an SSD.

Because they lack the spinning disc of HDDs, SSDs load data with significantly more speed. While they are pricier than HDDs, Neil Uemura of the Salt Lake Tribune says that soon might not be a factor.

"Prices are falling fast, so much so that Apple has made SSDs standard in their new line of MacBook Air laptops," wrote Uemura.

The boot-up speed of SSD drives is significantly faster than that of HDDs. "Turning on the computer and going to the desktop is closer to an "instant-on' experience since the operating system is stored on the SSD's flash memory," he continues.

But how does this increased data access speed affect your gaming experience? Uemura says SSDs can't make a game run more smoothly, as a game's frame rate is largely dependent on your graphics card. However, they do carry other benefits. "It will noticeably increase the performance by how often the game accesses the drive to load more textures or game levels."

It might come as no surprise that the MacBook Air is a strong gaming rig. In a review on the 11-inch MacBook Air, PC World writer Alex Wawro expressed surprise at how well the system ran graphics-intense games. "Even more impressive was the 11-inch Air's performance in our gaming tests — most netbooks can't run 3D games like DiRT 2 and Call of Duty 4 at all," he wrote.

SSDs also show a surprising amount of versatility. They can even be used to upgrade video game consoles. Recently, one user, tired of waiting through long load times in Gran Turismo 5, installed an SSD into his PlayStation 3. His load times were cut almost his half.

"He found a sizeable, consistent drop in loading times. The biggest factor seems to be the architecture of the SSD itself — it has no moving parts, so there are no mechanical heads moving around frantically to access the thousands and thousands of tiny, incremental files that make up the Gran Turismo 5 installation," wrote David Hinkle for

Julian Horsey of says this update is worth the cost of an SSD. "Yes, SSD's are fairly expensive compared to standard SATA drives, but ... the extra cost will buy you back hours of time, which would have otherwise been spent waiting for the GT5 game to load," he said.

SSD might be pricey, but, as with any upgrade to your gaming experience, it represents an investment. SSD can improve the performance of both your computer and, if you're willing to do a little construction, your video game console. For serious gamers, upgrading to SSD is an investment worth making.

For more information on SSDs (solid state drives) and gaming, visit our RAM and SSD news and information page. If you have additional questions on SSDs or other memory products, visit our product information section or contact our support center. If you’re ready to take the plunge, you can use our Crucial Memory Advisor™ tool or Crucial System Scanner tool.